Wednesday, August 17, 2016

New Plymouth

New Plymouth is an interesting place. It has a wonderful coastline, perched at the eastern tip of New Zealand's North Island but the town seems to thumb it's nose at the sea, with light industry assigned coastal real estate. New Plymouth Burnings must have the most stunning view in New Zealand.

The information service is on the busy coastal road in the city, across from the seashore, but I couldn't find any parking there. After a long and windy (though beautiful) trip from Turangi I was tired and an inaccessible information center was an inauspicious start to my New Plymouth visit.

Crossing the coastal rail line
If you cross the busy main road from the city and then the railway line which is still in use, though only local, you finally find yourself on the seashore.

It is a majestic vista, crashing waves on big black rocks.

Shoreline at New Plymouth
This morning I gave up the idea of finding a cafe with a sea view but instead I found a very good alternative, a cafe/coffee roaster called Ozone. The coffee was excellent, the atmosphere quirky and the staff friendly. If I was a New Plymouth resident I think I would become a permanent fixture there.

Coffee being roasted at Ozone
Then I discovered the retro yellow roof.

I don't know if it has a name, but in the middle of the city stands a large yellow structure with no apparent use. A passing resident told me that there had been a building there which was demolished and that the council asked the residents what they wanted in its place. This yellow roof was what had been chosen. My informant said with some embarrassment that it had been 'very expensive'.

Retro yellow lid


I'm not sure of the artistic or other value of the yellow structure but I think a population that chooses such a thing surely deserves the famous Len Lye museum as a reward.

The Len Lye Museum of Contemporary Art is as stunning as the photos that had made me want to visit New Plymouth in the first place. Even seeing the exterior was worth the trip. My photos speak for themselves (yes, this is really how it looks!)

Len Lye: Four Fountains

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